Friday, September 12, 2014
M. Cherif Bassiouni is Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, where he taught from 1964-2012. He was a founding member of the International Human Rights Law Institute (established in 1990), and served as President from 1990-1997, and then President Emeritus. In 1972, he was one of the founders of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) located in Siracusa, Italy, where he served as Dean from 1972-1989 and now serves as President. He recently organized an extraordinary High-Level Meeting of Experts in International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law, with 94 participants from 38 countries.
So let's just say he's always been a busy guy, and he hasn't slowed down a bit since taking Emeritus Status.
But busy people have a way of getting things done, and Bassiouni is no exception here. He has just published the sixth edition of International Extradition: United States Law and Practice, published by Oxford University Press. This is a comprehensive, must-have title for anyone doing work with international extradition, with 999 pages of text followed by another 296 pages of appendices and indexes. The text is well written and focused. Citaitons are provided throughout for use by practitioners and tribunals.
Here are the subjects covered:
- The Legal Framework of Extradition in International Law and Practice
- Legal Bases for Extradition in the United States
- Asylum and Extradition
- Disguised Extradition: The Use of Immigration Laws as Alternatives to Extradition
- Abduction and Unlawful Seizure as Alternatives to Extradition
- Theories of Jurisdiction and Their Application
- Substantive Requirements: Dual Criminality, Extraditable Offenses, and Non-Inquiry
- Denial of Extradition: Defenses, Exceptions, Exemptions, and Exclusions
- Pretrial Proceedings
- The Extradition Hearing
- The Review Process and Executive Discretion
- Surrender and Miscellaneous Matters
This book provides the most comprehensive coverage on international extradition and is an essential title for anyone working in the area. But even if your work or scholarship doesn't deal directly with extradition, you'll find yourself falling into the pages of this book. Topics such as secret evidence, head of state and diplomatic immunity, and in abstentia convictions will reach out and grab your intellectual curiosity.
Monday, June 30, 2014
We've been informed of a new book with the catchy title: "The Independence of International Courts: The Adherence of the International Judiciary to a Fundamental Value of the Administration of Justice" by Dr. Dominik Zimmermann. It's 597 pages and the ISBN number is 978-3-8487-1248-9. And because we don't post enough in German on this blog, here's a description in German of the book (which is in English). Don't read German? Well, go buy the book in English!
Die Studie untersucht Gehalt und Anwendungsbereich des Grundsatzes der richterlichen Unabhängigkeit im Hinblick auf internationale Gerichte. Angesichts der zunehmenden Bedeutung von Gerichten auf der internationalen Ebene ermittelt der Autor zunächst die theoretische Verankerung des Grundsatzes im Völkerrecht und entwickelt eine Arbeitsdefinition der richterlichen Unabhängigkeit für das Völkerrecht. Auf der Grundlage einer umfangreichen Auswertung von Quellen zu den gegenwärtig wichtigsten internationalen Gerichten, arbeitet der Autor sodann sowohl einen Kerngehalt richterlicher Unabhängigkeit als auch gerichtsbarkeitsspezifische Merkmale heraus.
Die Studie füllt somit nicht nur eine Lücke in der wissenschaftlichen Aufarbeitung internationaler Gerichtsbarkeit, sondern fungiert ebenfalls als wertvolle Orientierungshilfe bei der möglichen Errichtung zukünftiger internationaler Gerichte.
Das Werk ist Teil der Reihe Successful Dispute Resolution, Band 1.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Ohio State University Press has published a new book called Fatwahs and Court Judgments: A Genre Analysis of Arabic Legal Opinions by Ahmed Fakhri. The book is 157 pages long and sells for $57.95. We have not seen a copy of it yet but we are told that it examines the linguistic and rhetorical construction of secular court judgments and the Islamic fatwas, and documents the influence of secular court judgments on those Islamic edicts.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
The University of Michigan Press has published a new book called Hybrid Justice: The Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia. The authors are John D. Ciorciari and Anne Heindel. The book is 464 pages long and sells from $85.00. We have not yet seen a copy of the book itself but we are told that it examines some of the conflicts, structural flaws, and other problems of the tribunal created to try officials of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Leila Nadya Sadat is a professor at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where she directs the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. She also a special advisor to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on the important subject of Crimes Against Humanity.
Professor Sadat came to Chicago this week to speak at The John Marshall Law School, where she discussed her work as editor of a new book on "Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity," being published this month by Cambridge University Press. Here's a blurb about the book:
Crimes against humanity were one of the three categories of crimes elaborated in the Nuremberg Charter. However, unlike genocide and war crimes, they were never set out in a comprehensive international convention. This book represents an effort to complete the Nuremberg legacy by filling this gap. It contains a complete text of a proposed convention on crimes against humanity in English and in French, a comprehensive history of the proposed convention, and fifteen original papers written by leading experts on international criminal law. The papers contain reflections on various aspects of crimes against humanity, including gender crimes, universal jurisdiction, the history of codification efforts, the responsibility to protect, ethnic cleansing, peace and justice dilemmas, amnesties and immunities, the jurisprudence of the ad hoc tribunals, the definition of the crime in customary international law, the ICC definition, the architecture of international criminal justice, modes of criminal participation, crimes against humanity and terrorism, and the inter-state enforcement regime.
And here's the impressive list of contributing authors (in addition to Professor Sadat): Sir Richard Goldstone, Gareth Evans, Roger S. Clark, Payam Akhavan, M. Cherif Bassiouni, David Crane, Valerie Oosterveld, Göran Sluiter, Guénaël Mettraux, John Hagan, Todd J. Haugh, Diane Orentlicher, Elies van Sliedregt, Michael P. Scharf, Michael A. Newton, Kai Ambos, Ambassador David Scheffer, Laura M. Olson, and Gregory H. Stanton. These are names well known to those of us who work in the field of international criminal law.
The book can be ordered online from Cambridge University Press by clicking here. Enter the discount code "SADAT13" at checkout to save a few bucks.
Pictured in the photo with Professor Sadat are Professors Mark E. Wojcik, William B.T. Mock, and Shahram Dana, all of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
The next international law faculty roundtable scheduled at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago is on the subject "National Security and International Law," a presentation by Assistant Professor Vijay Padmanabhan of the Vanderbilt Law School on February 13, 2014.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
We're pleased to share a Guest Blog Post from Anne Abramson, the Foreign and International Law Librarian at the Louis L. Biro Law Library of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She's written the first review of a new legal research book for international law. The book launches a new series of international legal research texts being published by Carolina Academic Press.
International Law Legal Research
Reviewed by Anne Abramson
When I first learned that there would be a new print textbook on international legal research, I wondered just how useful it could be. So much international legal research is done electronically these days, how could a print text keep up with the incessant changes in the electronic environment?
Then I took a look at the just-published book on International Law Legal Research and realized why this new text is essential even if it cannot record every new database development. In fact, the best format for a text such as this one is indeed print. This title is not a brief "one off" taste of the subject but rather a comprehensive, detailed treatment. The quality of the content will stand the test of time.
This book on International Law Legal Research launches a new International Legal Research Series being published by Carolina Academic Press. The series is edited by Professor Mark E. Wojcik of The John Marshall Law School. This inaugural title in the series was authored by Professor Anthony S. Winer of the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, Mary Ann E. Archer (who served for ten years as the Associate Director for Public Services of the Warren E. Burger Law Library at William Mitchell), and Lyonette Louis-Jacques, the Foreign and International Law Librarian at the D’Angelo Law Library of the University of Chicago Law School.
Professor Winer and his colleagues delve into the historical origins of the international legal system and key organizations like the United Nations. Their thorough discussion of treaties and their resemblance to legislation and contracts is enlightening and useful. Their chapters on judicial and arbitral decisions, UN resolutions, customary international law, and international organizations and bodies such as the International Law Commission are similarly comprehensive and eye opening. The text provides an excellent framework for new students to learn international legal research and for more seasoned legal researchers to hone their skills or fill gaps where necessary. I appreciate, for example, the clarification of that most confusing term “private international law” under both modern and traditional interpretations.
The reader will want to pay special attention to Lyonette Louis-Jacques’ Additional Resources and General Bibliographic References at the conclusion of each chapter. Her concise lists of sources should be part of every international legal researcher’s toolkit. In addition, most librarians like myself are obsessed with “information literacy.” We are constantly called upon to articulate reasons as to why Google is not enough. Thus, I quite like the authors' emphasis on accuracy, currency, and authenticity as well as the adherence to proper Bluebook citation formats. In my view, solid citation skills are part and parcel of good research skills and are necessary for scholars, advocates, and even moot court teams competing in international law moot court competitions. Knowledge of which sources to cite and how to cite to them signals a true understanding of the subject matter in contrast to the tendency to cut and paste from a website.
Professor Winer and his colleagues have even gone where angels fear to tread by explaining Bluebook citation of UN records and reports, a complicated area which, in the current electronic era, has only become more mysterious. Researchers who do not wish to tear out their hair will appreciate his helpful explanations of the Bluebook’s often enigmatic pronouncements
Most valuable of all, this text will give students the necessary context to understand what they are researching and why. This context is all too often lost in today’s world of instant information.
Many thanks to the authors for this excellent contribution to the field and to Carolina Academic Press for launching this promising new series on international law legal research. The book will be a useful one for individual researchers, international law moot court teams, international law review journal staff, and for law schools looking to offer courses in international legal research.
Anthony S. Winer, Mary Ann E. Archer & Lyonette Louis-Jacques, International Law Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press 2013). Paperback, 308 pages including bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-61163-068-8. LCCN 2012038569. $35.00. Available from Carolina Academic Press www.cap-press.com. Click here for more information.
Anne Abramson is the Foreign and International Law Librarian at the Louis L. Biro Law Library of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She can be reached at email@example.com
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Oxford University Press has published a new book on "The Law of EU External Relations: Cases, Materials, and Commentary on the EU as an International Legal Actor." The authors are Pieter Jan Kuijper (University of Amsterdam), Jan Wouters (University of Leuven), Frank Hoffmeister (Free University of Brussels), Geert De Baere (University of Leuven), and Thomas Ramopoulos (University of Leuven).
The book is a usefuly volume of annotated documents and judgments relating to the foreign relations power of the European Union and the practice of the European Union in the field of international law. It's obviously useful as a course textbook for any school lucky enough to offer specialized EU classes, but it's also going to be a useful reference tool for academics and other researchers as well as diplomats who find themselves needing a more complete understanding of the mysteries of the European Union. It's an intelligently designed book with a great deal of useful information. It's broken down into these chapters:
- Personality and Powers of the EU
- International Representation of the EU
- Treaty-Making Powers
- Mixed Agreements
- The EU in International Organizations
- EU Sanctions and Countermeasures
- Common Commercial Policy (including imports, safeguards, antidumping, antisubsidy, and trade barrier legislation)
- Cooperation Policies and Humanitarian Aid
- Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy
- External Environmental Policy
- Common Foreign and Security Policy
- The Status of International Law in the EU (including international agreements, the status of the World Trade Organization, the status of the United Nations within the EU legal order, and General International Law)
- International Agreements and Member States.
Each of the chapters contains a great many documents, selected and edited with a great deal of care. A lot of work went into this book.
The book is also going to be a useful reference tool for its Table of Cases, which includes citations from the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, the EFTA Court, the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of International Justice, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization, Arbitral Tribunals, and a handful of national cases from Canada, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. EU Treaties, Protocols, Declarations, Regulations, Directives, Joint Actions, Common Positions, Council and Commission Decisions, and other EU Documents are also extensively cited and included in the index. Also cited are a large number of treaties, charters, agreements, and declarations, as well as national legal documents from the EU member states, the United States, and even Uruguay.
You will want to have this book if you're writing about any aspect of the external relations of the European Union because this book will put into context the primary sources you're citing and discussing. The introductory annotations throughout the book are easy to read and quite helpful.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Book on Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings Wins Award from the International Association of Penal Law
The book Procedural Justice? Victim Participation in International Criminal Proceedings published by Intersentia was recognized this past weekend with an award from the U.S. National Chapter of the International Association of Penal Law (L'Association International du Droit Pénal), the Paris-based society of international criminal law scholars. The award was presented to the book's author, Brianne N. McGonigle (pictured here holding the prize-winning book). The presentation was made by Professor Michael J. Kelly, director of the International and Comparative Law Program at Creighton University School of Law, during a special program held as part of the International Law Weekend Midwest. ILW-Midwest was held at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Brianne McGonigle Leyh is an attorney specializing in international criminal law and procedure, human rights and transitional justice. Currently, she is researching and teaching at Utrecht University’s Netherlands Institute of Human Rights and University College Utrecht. In addition to her work with the university, she is an executive editor of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights and she co-directs the Netherlands Office of the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG).
Dr. McGonigle has worked as a Co-Counsel on a legal team representing Civil Parties before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia ("ECCC"), has experience working for a defense team at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ("ICTY") and held a Visiting Professional position at the International Criminal Court’s Office of Public Counsel for Victims.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Hart Publishing announced the publication of a new book by Robert Kolb on the International Court of Justice. It is an English translation of his book the La Cour Internationale de Justice (Paris, Pedone, 2013). The book -- we are told -- examines the Statute of the Court, its procedures, conventions, and practices in a helpful way to assist international lawyers. It covers the composition of the Court, the role of ad hoc judges, the use of smaller Chambers, jurisdiction, the law applied, preliminary objections, the range of contentious disputes which may be submitted to the Court, the status of advisory opinions, the Court's relationship to the Security Council, applications to intervene, the status of judgments, and remedies. The book was translated by Alan Perry, Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.
Robert Kolb is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Geneva. He is also Counsel for Lalive Attorneys-at-Law, Geneva. More information about the book and how to order it is available from Hart Publishing by clicking here.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Ashgate Publishing is about to release "Transnational Legal Processes and Human Rights." The book was edited by Kryiaki Topidi and Lauren Fielder (both of the University of Lucerne Faculty of Law in Switzerland). Dr. Topidi teaches courses and researches on religious rights and has a research background in minority protection and EU law. Professor Fielder teaches African Law, Protection of Vulnerable Groups, and Transnational Litigation at the University of Lucerne, where she is the assistant director of the Transnational Legal Studies Program. She writes and speaks about human rights issues in Africa.
There are twelve chapters on the topic, including these:
- Ruth Hargrove (California Western School of Law) and Roberta Thyfault (California Western School of Law), The Impact of, and Resistance to, the Use of Foreign Law on Juvenile Punishment in the United States
- Mark E. Wojcik (The John Marshall Law School-Chicago), Legislative Attempts to Prohibit the Use of International Law and Islamic Law in U.S. Courts
- Lauren Fielder (University of Lucerne Faculty of Law), African Courts and African Values: Harmonizing International Human RIghts and Customary Law
- Kyriaki Topidi (University of Lucerne Faculty of Law), Exercising Religious Rights in European Classrooms: Value Conflicts between the National, the Supranational, and the Transnational
- Ehsanul Haque, Universal Human Rights and Cultural Relativity: Conflict or Reconciliation?
- Angelica Anatolie Tsarkiridis, Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights in the Context of an International Constitutional Legal Framework
- Ali Abid, Combating Religious Defamation: An Exploration of Blasphemy in Islamic Thought and International Practice
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Jeff Golden (in photo, on right) and I are two of the contributing authors.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Monday, November 26, 2012
It's "Cyber Monday" in the United States (and elsewhere), a day when many retailers offer generous one-day discounts for electronic shopping. The American Bar Association Section of International Law has joined in with 40% off of its titles. Use the code "CYBER12" to Save 40% on International Law Books at the ABA webstore. You get a further discount if you are a member of the ABA Section of International Law.
New titles of possible interest for you include
- Careers in International Law (4th edition)
- The ABA Guide to Internaitonal Bar Admissions
- The Unofficial Guide to Legal Studies in the U.S. for Foreign Lawyers
Monday, November 19, 2012
Three years of thoughtful work have finally culminated in a new book on "International Trade in Idigenous Cultural Hertiage: Legal and Policy Issues." The book is about to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing (United Kingdom). The book examines how international law can better contribute to promoting trade and development in indigenous cultural heritage while at the same time respecting indigenous people's values, traditions, and rights.
The book is edited by Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht, and Jessica C. Lai, all members of i-call, the Research Centre for Communication and Art Law at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). Authors include Christoph Antons, Francesco Bandarin, Catherine Bell, Kathey Bowrey, Duane Champagne, Paul L.A.H. Chartrand, Rosemary Coombe, Susy Frankel, Martin Girsberger, Carole Goldberg, Christoph Graber, Karolina Kuprecht, Jessica C. Lai, Federico Lenzerini, Fiona Macmillan, Benny Müller, John Scott, Kurt Siehr, Rebecca Tsosie, Joseph Turcotte, and Brigtte Vézina.
Because I have had the chance to hear Professor Graber lecture on the topic, and because of my own personal interest in the protection of traditional knowledge and culture, I have very high expectations for the quality of the book. And I'm not disappointed with what I've been able to see so far -- this is an outstanding piece of work that is both a useful reference work as well as providing thoughtful commentary on the global difficulties with protecting traditional knowledge. And it is rare to find a book so deeply devoted to transdisciplinary research methodology.
The 17 chapters in the book includes international law perspectives, methodology, and social context, as well as country reports on the protection of cultural heritage in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. I'm looking forward to spending some significant time with the book. The publication launch date is set for January 30, 2013 for the United States and a bit earlier (November 30, 2012) for the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. You can, of course, pre-order a copy now for your personal or institutional library. It is 509 pages (including the index).
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Books We Really, Really, Really Like: Return of an Old Friend -- Comfort Food for International Lawyers -- A New Edition of Brierly's Law of Nations
You can carry it with you in the winter months.
You can pull it out when you need the international lawyers' equivalent of comfort food.
It's a new edition of Brierly's Law of Nations, prepared by Andrew Clapham and published by Oxford University Press.
And it's wonderful.
The book first appeared in 1928 and it attracted a wide readership of lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Over the years, new editions became a standard reference work and introduction to international law.
The last edition was published in 1963. This new, seventh edition is the first revision of the book in almost 50 years. It was revised by Andrew Clapham, a Professor of Public International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Law and Development Studies in Geneva and Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He's updated the book in innovative ways, sometimes taking passages from Brierly's other work. He also focused more on Brierly's fifth edition, rather than the 1963 edition revised by Sir Humphrey Waldock. Professor Clapham has updated the work with references to recent treaties, tribunal decisions, and international law scholarship. He has made revisions with a view of keeping the easy readability of this treasure.
The revised edition is available in hardback and paperback. It's just over 500 pages of text, easy to read in both the style of prose and in the typesetting of the book. You do want a copy of this. You know you do. This would make a great holiday gift for your favorite international lawyer too, and we just can't say that about most law books. Grab a hot cup of tea, build a warm fire, and enjoy some time with a classic text on international law.
The ISBN number for the hardback edition is 978-0-19-965793-3. The ISBN number for the paperback edition is 978-0-19-965794-0. The publisher is Oxford University Press.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Monday, October 22, 2012
Dr. Jane McAdam is a professor on the Faculty of Law at the the University of New South Wales. She is recognized as an international expert in the field of refugee law. Much of her recent work focuses on issues of refugees and international climate change. For example, you can see one of her lectures by clicking here. She has written a new book called "Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law," published by Oxford University Press.
The book examines whether States have obligations to protect people displaced by climate change under international law, including international refugee law, international human rights law, and the international law on statelessness. She examines the nature of displacement, the "importance of context," and the "invisibility" of climate-change related migration. She considers closely contemporary applications of treaties such as the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the relevance of regional refugee instruments. Using field work from Asia and some Pacific islands, she considers a number of issues relating to climate change in relation to other factors traditionally associated with migration. She examines specific international human rights including the right to life, the right to be free of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and other human rights that "may give rise to complementary protection." She considers problems of "disappearing states" and relocation. She also examines the "Climate Refugee Treaty Debate" and political obstacles to a new treaty on that subject.
In addition to its well-written analysis and commentary, the book includes great resources such as the list of applicable treaties and other international instruments and the list of applicable national legilsation from such countries as widespread as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, FInaland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Niue, Ireland, and South Africa. An interesting appendix lists countries around the world that make reference to migration and relocation as an adaptation strategy in national programs of action. The 47 countries included there include range from Afghanistan to Zaire. And the bibliography is a treasure trove for anyone doing research on issues of international law, climate change, and forced migration.
This book is a welcome addition to the legal literature on the future of our planet. The book is published by Oxford University Press. The ISBN Number is 978-0-19-958708-7.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The American Bar Association Section of International Law (which holds its Fall Meeting this week in Miami) has just published "The ABA Practical Guide to Drafting Basic Islamic Finance Contracts." The author is Dena H. Elkhatib, a U.S. lawyer who is now working in the United Arab Emirates. She is also the author of several articles that help explain Islamic finance to audiences who are unfamiliar with technical terms such as fiqh, sukuk, and murabaha.
The book includes an overview of Islamic finance and information about its place in the current global financial markets. It also discusses various types of Islamic finance contracts and how they are structured. The appendix to the book includes helpful charts that make it easy for readers to tell the difference between various finance contracts.
Ms. Elkhatib is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where she was the Student Body President. She became active in the ABA Section of International Law and presently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA International Law Section's Islamic Finance Committee.
The ISBN Number for "The ABA Practical Guide to Drafting Basic Islamic Finance Contracts" is 978-1-61438-619-3.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A year ago we told you about a book by two professors from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Olivier Corten and Pierre Klein, who have published a two-volume set of commentary on the 1969 and the 1986 Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties, two of the most important instruments in the international legal order. We're still enthusiastic about the book.
This commentary set (available from Oxford University Press) provides an article-by-article analysis of the VCLT and will be very helpful to scholars, advocates, and jurists who must analyze specific provisions of the Convention. This must be the definitive reference work for these two conventions.
More than 100 distinguished authors from twenty different countries contributed different chapters of the book, which compares the 1969 and 1986 conventions article by article. I'm not going to list all of the contributing authors here, but they include:
- Mohammed Bedjaoui (former Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs)
- Peter Kovacs (Judge of the Hungarian Constitutional Court)
- Gerard Niyungeko (Judge at the African Court on Human and People's Rights)
- Philippe Sands (Professor of Law, Univesity College, London)
- William Schabas (Professor, National University of Ireland)
- Bruno Simma (Judge of the International Court of Justice)
This is a serious reference book (more than two thousand pages long!) that includes extensive bibliographies for each article, scholarly commentary, and valuable case citations. Click here for more information about the book.
Congratulations again to Professors Corten and Klein and to each of the contributing authors.
Friday, April 13, 2012
A.W. Heringa and B. Akkermans are the editors of a new book on "Educating European Lawyers." I've only seen the flier for it and not the book itself, but it seems to be of interest to some readers of our blog. It sells for 54 Euros, 51 GB Pounds, or $76 US Dollars, and it's a paperback of approximately 263 pages. The flier promoting the book says that it considers developments in European legal education. It's published by Intersentia. The ISBN Number is 978-1-78068-018-7. If you want to send us a review of the book, we can post it here for our blog readers.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
"The world of law is a world of words." So says Stephen Michael Shepard, a professor of International Law, Environmental Law, and several other subjects at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. Professor Shepard has lectured or presented in China, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Sweden. But for the past six or seven years (at least), he's been busy working as the general editor of a new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary, recently published by Wolters Kluwer.
The new work brings back to life the American law dictionary first published in 1839 by John Bouvier. I'm not a Bouvier scholar by any means, but I can at least let you read part of the wikipedia entry about John Bouvier so that you can appreciate the importance of this law dictionary:
John Bouvier (1787–1851) was born in Codogno, France, but came to the United States at an early age. He became a U.S. citizen in 1812, was admitted to the bar in 1818, and began practicing law in Philadelphia. During his years of practice and study, he noticed the lack of a solid American law dictionary. He decided to fill this need, and worked on a new law dictionary incessantly for 10 years. One of his main goals was to distinguish American law from its Englishantecedent. He finally presented it for publication in 1839. Like many of his generation, Bouvier used his preface to justify his work, stating the irrelevance of English legal dictionaries to the American legal system of the United States. He wanted to create a totally new law dictionary that would address the American legal system, so he derived his definitions almost wholly from customs, court decisions, and statutes of the United States.
So that's the book that Professor Sheppard has now updated. The Bouvier Law Dictionary was the one used by Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, John Marshall, Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, and all of the other great early American jurists and lawyers.
This new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary was well received at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, where Professor Sheppard kindly signed a copy for me. Actually the new dictionary is being published in three versions, a desk edition, the compact paperback version, and an electronic version.
John Bouvier drew on material for his first dictionary from all of the sources that influenced American law. This new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary "is an entirely new book, with new definitions for every term, based on quotations and entries from tens of thousands of new cases, books, and statutes, as well as on Bouvier's final text and other classic materials." (Preface, at page ix). I had to laugh at Professor Sheppard's acknowledgment page, where he thanked his student research assistants by saying that his "sincere thanks go to each of you, and I remind all of you who haven't returned some of my books that is never too late to do so."
The dictionary entries are easy to read and often provide a little more information about particular legal terms than you might find in other dictionaries. We will still use our other law dictionaries, but we now have a second source that we'll also consult.
The ISBN Number for the Compact Paperback Edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary is 978-0-7355-6852-5.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)